Last week I re-blogged my Aubergine and Pesto Bake. After a tough 6 months I’m looking back on my past and trying to improve myself and I’ve decided to reflect this in the blog.
Today I’m returning to my recipe for Lentil Lasagne.
The recipe came about because I’ve never been a fan of meat substitutes. Lasagne is one of my favourite meals but I couldn’t stand the vegetarian lasagne made with fake mince. Although food scientists get better at creating realistic fake meats every day, I don’t believe you actually should try and replicate meat.
Now I haven’t converted to vegetarianism and I don’t think I will (debate for another day) but I do think that with some clever cooking you can do with meat or meat substitutes in classic recipes that have always depended on the stuff.
In this recipe for Lentil Lasagne, its the lentils that bind the tomato sauce together. They provide a similar texture to the mince and work well with the other flavours in the dish.
Lentil Lasagne (v)
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Cup of red lentils
- Half a courgette
- 3 or 4 mushrooms
- Half a pepper
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon of tomato puree
- Handful of Spinach
- 2 glasses good red wine
- Handful of basil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Béchamel Sauce Jar or home-made, your choice, there is no judgment here!
- Lasagne Sheets
- Grated cheddar to top
- First of all preheat your oven to gas mark 6 and find a large rectangle dish in which to make your lasagne.
- Chop the onion finely, and fry in a pan with some garlic. When the onion begins to soften add the lentils and the red wine (if you're using it). The lentils and onions will absorb all of the flavours of the garlic and wine as it simmers for 5mins.
- Grate your carrot into the pan and allow to take on the flavours before adding the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes.
- Next add the rest of the vegetables (except the spinach) and allow to simmer for at least 10 mins. Add the spinach and basil, and allow to simmer for another 5 mins.
- To build the lasagne, make a layer of the tomato based sauce on the bottom of the dish. Then cover with a layer of lasagne sheets. Next, top with a layer of béchamel sauce.
- Top with another layer of lasagne sheets before repeating the tomato sauce/ lasagne sheet/ béchamel sauce/lasagne sheets pattern until you have filled your dish!
- When you have topped the last layer of white sauce with lasagne sheets, cover in grated cheese! This will make sure you lasagne has a lovely crispy yet gooey cheesy top!
- Cook in the centre of the oven, gas mark 6 for 30mins or until the lasagne sheets have softened and you have a crisp yet cheesy top. Service piping hot with salad and garlic bread.
When I finally discovered just how good vegetarian lasagne could be by making the simple substitution of mince for lentils I was over the moon! I remember cooking this dish almost every week for a month, feeding anyone who would accept a portion of the awesome combination that is Lentil Lasagne.
It’s still a recipe I love to cook today although perhaps not quite so often! Serving 4 – 6 people it’s also a fantastic dish for sharing. It’s not often you come across a simple lasagne recipe that will keep both your vegetarian and meat eating guests happy without the stress of cooking two meals, so if you ever find yourself entertaining vegetarians and meat eaters at the same time I’d definitely suggest giving this recipe a go. It won’t disappoint.